• Submission on the inquiry into climate adaptation

    We take issue with the narrow lens the Climate Adaptation Framework is taking, namely the focus on weather-related concerns. Furthermore, health and well-being is often given little (if any) consideration when designing solutions for climate adaptation other than in the protection of health service facilities. This is a significant oversight due to each climate risk having health and well-being implications as part of the cascading risk profile. We highlight that the wider health sector has recently created climate change scenarios in line with XRB Climate Standards. The best way to minimise the long-term costs relating to adapting to the physical risks of climate change is to continue rapid and significant investment in climate change mitigation.

    OraTaiao's full submission to the Finance and Expenditure Committee, prepared by Dr. Dermot Coffey and Vicktoria Blake, is available here.


  • Submission on international shipping and aviation emissions

    We strongly support bringing emissions from international shipping and aviation into our existing climate response framework. Incorporating international aviation emissions into our existing systems would allow the tourist industry to pivot with support to a post-fossil fuel world. We resist efforts to protect the status quo, namely, the international shipping industry not paying its fair share for the climate damage it causes.

    OraTaiao's full submission to He Pou a Rangi The Climate Change Commission, prepared by Dr Dermot Coffey, is available here.



  • Submission on Aotearoa New Zealand's 2050 emissions reduction target

    We strongly support strengthening our 2050 targets, acknowledging the significant health gains associated with well-designed climate action and the necessary deepening of such action that global equity demands. We call for swifter and more ambitious cuts in our short-lived and long-lived gases. This is in recognition that the window for remaining under average warming of 1.5˚C is much smaller and closing. The risk of crossing irreversible climate tipping points should not be underestimated, and these need to be part of any decision on the rapidity of biogenic methane cuts.

    OraTaiao's full submission to He Pou a Rangi The Climate Change Commission, prepared by Dr Dermot Coffey, is available here.

  • Submission on the Fast-track Approvals Bill 2024

    Robust legislation governing land use and environmental pollution is vital for safeguarding people’s lives and their health. It is essential that changes to the existing legislation are an improvement on the status quo, rather than the dangerous and retrograde step in environmental governance for public health that the Fast-track Approvals Bill represents. The proposed Bill risks increasing public health disasters by bypassing meaningful environmental health safeguards, allowing Ministers to approve projects without considering the serious risks to people's safety, health, or to their fundamental human rights. We strongly recommend this Bill is rejected in its entirety.

    OraTaiao's full submission to the Environment Select Committee, prepared by Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright, is available here.

  • Health Professionals prescribe a dose of healthy activity – the School Strike 4 Climate

    MEDIA RELEASE, 3 April 2024

    OraTaiao calls on all of Aotearoa to get active and take a stand for health this Friday, by joining the School Strike for Climate Strike to be held in at least 20 locations around the country.

  • Submission on the revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024)

    The revised Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2024 (GPS2024) is a throwback to a mid-20th century mentality in which the car is king and other modes are neglected to the point of death. It represents an absolute failure from the government to protect New Zealander’s futures. In short, from a health, equity and climate perspective, it is an utter disaster which represents an assault on the health and wellbeing of the people of New Zealand. 

    OraTaiao's full submission to Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport), prepared by Dr Dermot Coffey, is available here.

  • Op Ed in NZ Doctor, 6 March 2024: Metered-dose inhalers No.1 villain

    GPs play a vital part in reducing emissions by adopting strategies including reducing medication waste and promoting active transport, writes OraTaiao Co-convenor Dermot Coffey in NZ Doctor Rata Aotearoa. We are grateful for permission to now republish his op-ed here. 

  • OraTaiao opposes the scrapping of Te Aka Whai Ora and urges delay of enabling legislation

    MEDIA RELEASE, 26 February 2024 

    OraTaiao is appalled by Government plans to introduce legislation abolishing Te Aka Whai Ora ahead of an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing on the matter on Thursday. 

  • Letter to the Mayor of Auckland on safer pedestrian crossings

    Uncertainty about the future of safe and healthy transport options in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland has increased since the election. Opportunities for formal submissions have been restricted, as consultation on transport funding and priorities has been replaced by edicts from agencies and politicians such Waka Kotahi, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown.

    Regarding work to create safer pedestrian crossings in the city, negative comments from both the Transport Minister and the Mayor have cited an article in the NZ Herald which contained inaccuracies and was later corrected

    In the absence of a consultation request, OraTaiao has taken the step of writing to the Mayor to provide accurate information about raised pedestrian crossings. Our letter from Co-convenors Dr Dermot Coffey and Summer Wright is available here

  • OraTaiao supports humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    OraTaiao has added its name to a joint letter to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Manatū Aorere Ministry of Foreign Affairs urging them to support the UN General Assembly resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The full text of the resolution, moved by Egypt and co-sponsored by 20 other countries, is available here.

  • Rob Campbell: Guest speaker at the 2023 OraTaiao AGM

    Rob Campbell needs little introduction. He has over 40 years of experience in board governance in private, public and social organisations. The last government made him a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance then sacked him from his roles as Chair of Te Whatu Ora and Environmental Protection Authority. Rob continues to think that health and the environment are linked and badly governed. We were delighted to have him as our guest speaker to open the 2023 OraTaiao AGM, and to stay for a lengthy Q&A.

  • Op Ed in NZ Doctor, 12 October 2023: Throwing fuel at the bonfire no substitute for climate action

    The piling up of threat upon threat as global warming accelerates is not matched by political will to reduce and mitigate climate change effects, writes OraTaiao Co-convenor Dermot Coffey in New Zealand Doctor Rata Aotearoa. We are grateful for permission to now republish his op-ed here. 

  • “Prescribing a Healthy Planet” – Invited editorial in the September 2023 NZ Medical Student Journal

    Human wellbeing is inexorably linked with planetary health. This relationship has long been understood in Indigenous worldviews and is receiving increasing attention in academic literature and public health movements. The health sector now needs to accept our crucial central role in Aotearoa’s climate response and every one of us needs to add our part. Writing in the September 2023 New Zealand Medical Student Journal Te Hautaka o ngā Akongā Rongoā, OraTaiao Board members Dermot Coffey, Summer Wright and Angad S. Chauhan offer suggestions for medical students and clinicians about where to start. Read here

  • Healthy choices for voters – the OraTaiao election scorecard

    MEDIA RELEASE, 22 September 2023

    A Health election scorecard, released today by OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council, shows significant room for improvement from all parties. Representing more than 1,000 health professionals and health organisations in Aotearoa, OraTaiao is part of a worldwide movement urgently focusing on the health challenges of climate change and the health opportunities of climate action.

  • UN ruling gives children new legal protection from climate change threats

    MEDIA RELEASE, 19 September 2023

    Protection from adverse effects of climate change has been affirmed as a right for all children under international law by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. 

    Launched yesterday in Geneva, the Committee’s General Comment No. 26 (2023) on Children’s Rights and the Environment With a Special Focus on Climate Change places new legal obligations on States, like New Zealand, which have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

    “As a contributor to the UN Committee which issued this statement, OraTaiao welcomes its wide-ranging verdict and we urge the New Zealand Government to now honour its obligations to act for our children”, says OraTaiao Co-convenor Summer Wright.